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Sold On Song

Six part series, starts Tuesday 10 May, 20.30 - 21.30

Gospel Choir - singing in harmony
Russell Davies presents a new six-part series on the art of close-harmony singing - from training with bands to learning about their music-making.
 The programmes will be available to hear for seven days.
Listen to BBC Radio 2 shows up to 7 days later

Over the next six weeks as we travel on this twenty-first-century musical version of the Grand Tour, we will meet every kind of vocal group: boy and girl bands; highly-skilled close-harmony outfits; jazz groups; barbershop groups; gospel choirs; church choirs; Welsh male voice choirs; doo-wop groups; session singers and backing vocalists. 

Along the way we will meet a variety of famous groups including Manhattan Transfer, Take Six, New York Voices, The Four Freshmen, The Hi-Lo’s, The Bobs, The Big Apple Chorus, The Los Angeles Master Chorale and The Swingle Singers (to name but some), all of whom welcome us and enthuse about their all-consuming favourite pastime.  And we don't just observe these groups, we train with them, participate in their music-making, and learn a little about the mystery of singing from each one.

From sacred and commercial, amateurs and professional and from the simplest rural chants to the most sophisticated pieces of art music, every form of vocal collaboration can help us find our voices. This all-encompassing format will also allow us to delve into the history of vocal groups, and to meet modern-day practitioners of ancient forms of ensemble singing. In this journey of discovery, we’ll get the music lesson of a lifetime, a masterclass in the crafts of breathing, phrasing and blending - and the equally demanding art of living and working together.

Find out more about singing in harmony and send us your comments.

Written and presented by Russell Davies.

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